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Angler lands local whopper

Fish is largest hybrid striped bass caught with fly rod in Texas

An Irving man reeled in a record catch Thursday in the Elm Fork of the Trinity River with the largest hybrid striped bass caught with a fly rod in Texas.

Yue Jiang Li was fishing just below Ray Roberts Lake Dam when he hooked the bass. It weighed 9.83 pounds and measured 25 inches long and 19.5 inches in girth, according to Mark Steward, superintendent of Ray Roberts Lake State Park's Isle du Bois Unit.

The previous state record of 8.99 pounds was set by Mitchell Benway on Feb. 24, 2005, at Lake Tawakoni, located near Wills Point about 45 miles east of Dallas.

The fish also breaks the previous water body record for the Elm Fork set by Carey Thorn in 2010 at 6.45 pounds.

Jiang Li could not be reached for comment early Monday evening.

Stewart said news of a record catch often proves to be a boon for park attendance.

"When it's a new record, that usually causes a lot more interest in fishing either on the lake, or in this case, behind the dam on the Greenbelt [Corridor]," Stewart said. "We expect to see some additional fishermen to come out because a large fish was caught."

Stewart said the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department stocked Ray Roberts Lake and Lewisville Lake with hybrid striped bass several years ago. This fish could have come from either lake but likely swam upstream from the Lewisville Lake headwaters.

"We hope to see more people out fishing and enjoying the outdoors. We hope maybe some people who have never been here before will come out and continue to come back and become regular users of Ray Roberts," Stewart said.

Bass must weigh at least 13 pounds to be eligible for TPWD's Sharelunker breeding program, so Jiang Li took his trophy home after bringing it to Parks and Wildlife personnel to be officially weighed.

DANIEL BURGESS can be reached at 940-566-6875 or via Twitter at @DanielKBurgess.